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Tuesday, 19 May 1942

Mr SPOONER (Robertson) .- The observations of the two honorable members who preceded the Minister for Social Services (Mr. Holloway) cause me to direct attention to the fact that no Australian-wide scheme of widows' pensions or child endowment will ever be complete unless accompanied by and. administered in conjunction with a child welfare scheme. In the State of New South Wales, where widows' pensions have been paid for many years, a scheme of child welfare operates. I am not prepared to say that it is the best available, but it provides a wonderful opportunity for the Commonwealth Government to examine the matter of child welfare. I do not desire that the thorough work of the- Joint Committee on Social Security be duplicated; but there is need for some investigation to supplement the committee's report. Evidence could be obtained from experts in child welfare. Without the operation of a child welfare scheme, widows' pensions and child endowment will become, in many cases, mere financial hand-touts, and will not go to the root of the problem of the human and cultural rehabilitation of the family in need. I hope that the Minister will take that matter to Cabinet and set in motion such an investigation as. will cause to be brought into operation a child welfare scheme which will make the widows' pensions and 'child endowment schemes more successful.

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